In Continued Defense of the Cobra


This afternoon I posted something on my personal site in which I defended Colby Lewis and his recent rough patch. The gist of it was that every pitcher is going to struggle and that there’s no need to launch Lewis into the furthest reaches of deep space after three bad starts.

At the end of it I said the following…

"As for Lewis, I’d still take him over Derek Holland anytime I absolutely had to win a game. He doesn’t have Holland’s ceiling, but he’s got a longer resume at this exact moment."

It seems that I am mostly alone in my assessment that Lewis > Holland, as a couple of people took me to task for it on Twitter.

@TeamBryantDFW and I had a lengthy (but civil) discussion about the merits of each pitcher. He contended that Holland had been great and that Lewis had been terrible. I felt that the opposite was true.

I decided to look up the stats on both to prove that one of us was right and what I found was…surprising.

It turns out that Lewis & Holland’s 2012 numbers are almost identical. One has made 8 appearances, allowed 24 runs (20 earned), struck out 40, and has a 3.78 ERA. The other has made 8 appearances, allowed 26 runs (21 earned), struck out 47, and has a 3.63 ERA.

The only major difference between the two is that Lewis has allowed 12 HRs and Holland only 3. It should also be noted that each has just 2 starts where they allowed more than 4 earned runs.

What have I learned from this? That public perception is far more important than actual results.

Everyone remembers Holland’s gem in Game 4 of last year’s World Series, but many forget that he was nearly DFA’d in July before he turned his season around. Lewis, on the other hand, takes flak for giving up a bunch of homeruns in May, but his April (5 starts, 1.93 ERA) is somehow overlooked.

Compare their postseason ERAs (Lewis: 2.34, Holland: 3.82) and it’s clear that the moustachioed lefty has some catching up to do. He has a big game to his credit, but he’s not yet a big-game pitcher.

One day he probably will be, but that day isn’t today. For now, I will take Colby Lewis.

Press on, Rangers fans.

(Leave a comment or find me on Twitter @BleacherSeatsTX. As always, thanks to Baseball Reference for their invaluable resources.)